Honest broker

So sanity has prevailed and Robert Mugabe has signed an agreement with Morgan Tsvangirai to discuss "an inclusive government".

So sanity has prevailed and Robert Mugabe has signed an agreement with Morgan Tsvangirai to discuss "an inclusive government".

Mugabe and his Zanu-PF lost the Zimbabwean elections. But, as in the past, the brutal dictator and his cronies immediately launched a campaign of violence to cow the nation into submission.

He claims he won the later run-off election, which no one accepts as free and fair, and which Tsvangirai didn't even contest because of the brutality visited on his supporters.

President Thabo Mbeki helped to broker this deal, though for years he has been aggravating the problem by refusing to condemn Mugabe's growing bellicosity as his nation increasingly rejected him.

That's water under the bridge and Mbeki might still emerge smelling of roses if he digs in and plays the honest broker between the loser and the victor of Zimbabwe's troubled elections.

The ultimate losers have been the people of Zimbabwe, battered by a failed economy driven into the ground by a wounded tyrant

South Africa will have to pick up the pieces if Zimbabwe descends into civil war and millions more of its citizens stream across our borders.

So let's finally knuckle down and help Zimbabweans realise the hope they expressed for a new day in a revitalised democratic land. Aren't those our values too?

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